“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Little Falls in Herkimer County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Shaping the City

A Family Legacy

Shaping the City Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, March 15, 2019
1. Shaping the City Marker
Inscription.  The Burrell family were leading businessmen in Little Falls for generations. Their work as cheese producers, brokers, and suppliers helped to make this city a national center for the dairy industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The family was active in the local community as well, endowing Little Falls with resources far beyond other cities of its size.

The Burrell Family
Connecticut native Jonathan Burrell established a farm in 1801 in Salisbury, six miles north of Little Falls, producing cheese as one of his cash crops.

In 1826, Jonathan’s son Harry started shipping cheese from local farmers to Albany and New York City markets. Known for his honesty and fair dealings, Harry Burrell became the largest cheese dealer in the state. In 1830 he was the first broker in America to ship cheese to England. He moved into Little Falls in 1854. By this time, New York State was the largest dairy producer in the nation.

Harry's son, David H. Burrell, left the cheese brokerage business to focus on improving the quality of American cheese. He worked directly with farmers selling them the supplies
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and equipment they needed. His company (now know as Feldmeier) introduced much of the machinery that modernized the dairy industry. Burrell's 1885 design for a boiler is also considered to be the forerunner of the modern oil burner heating system used in houses today.

David's sons, D. H. Jr. and Loomis, continued the family tradition of leadership, helping perfect the cream separator and the modern milking machine. The work of the Burell family was largely responsible for making Herkimer County cheese and the Little Falls market famous throughout the world for over a century.

Giving Back to Little Falls
Throughout his life, David Burrell gave generously to his hometown Little Falls. He donated more than half of the $110,000 needed to build City Hall, completed in 1918. He built the Burrell office building to your left, and he constructed numerous houses for local workers. He built the YMCA as a recreation center for young people, then his family restored Nathaniel Benton's historic home next door as additional community space. David Burrell used local craftsmen to build his own house (now the Overlook B&B and Restaurant) on top of the cliff where he played as a child.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 43° 2.581′ N, 74° 
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51.566′ W. Marker is in Little Falls, New York, in Herkimer County. Marker is on South Ann Street near Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker on Ann Street between Main and Albany Streets. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Little Falls NY 13365, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Street Cheese Market (a few steps from this marker); Window on the Past (a few steps from this marker); The World's Best Cheddar (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cheese Business (within shouting distance of this marker); Route of the Little Falls Canal (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Bridge for Boats (approx. ¼ mile away); Lafayette's Tour (approx. ¼ mile away); Benton’s Landing (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Little Falls.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 20, 2019. It was originally submitted on March 19, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 302 times since then and 6 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on March 19, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 29, 2024